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Meredith is pitching beauty advertisers AR try-on experiences

InStyle readers can use AR to try on beauty products

Meredith Corporation’s fashion magazine InStyle has been trialling an augmented reality (AR) try-on experience for its editorially selected beauty products. Now it’s looking to get advertisers involved.

InStyle began testing the feature in its June issue. A reader on either print or digital can scan a QR code using their mobile phone’s camera, virtually try on a beauty product and can then buy that product.

Rachel Reed, senior innovation manager at Meredith, said the publisher has no plans to set up an affiliate revenue model for the AR feature yet, but the company is expanding the experience to its advertising partners.

“If a makeup brand came to us and wanted to do something, we could help build out that AR try-on and drive right to their site,” said Reed. “Or there are some complementary opportunities where if the editorial team has selected a product, we could approach that brand and say, ‘Do you want to make this more robust, do you want to run a brand ad along side it?’”

Reed added that innovations are first introduced editorially, with consumer success top of mind. Once it’s built out successfully, Meredith then approaches advertisers.

Reed said Meredith has had “some preliminary conversations” with some of its biggest advertising partners in space, but couldn’t share specifics.

InStyle is also integrating its AR try-on experience within ad units that run across Meredith’s sites. The try-on experience lives within the AR-enabled ad units themselves, while readers are taken to a mobile web page when accessing the feature via print or digital.

InStyle partnered with beauty tech company Perfect Corp to develop the experience. Reed said Meredith as whole looks to partner with vendors on building out emerging technologies, but the publisher would explore bringing those capabilities in-house.

“Ultimately if there's something that we feel like has a lot of traction and potential, then we'd look to expand our in-house capabilities,” said Reed.

Beyond AR, Reed said that Meredith’s main focuses are in voice and audio, specifically podcasts.

With over half of Google searches generating zero clicks, Reed highlighted the need to test different media and expand the publisher’s reach across the digital ecosystem, calling voice and audio “great hands-free ways” to deliver content.

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